The doctrine of creation is pervasive in the Bible and so are the portraits of God as creator. To understand the biblical picture of creation and creator, it might be helpful at the outset to ask three questions about the texts we will explore: 1) what did these words mean to the people who first heard them; 2) what, then, do the mean to us/me? and 3) how do they change or shape us/me? These questions will allow us to explore the biblical world and perspectives as well as how we should relate today.
Relevant Biblical Passages & Portraits:
- Divine speaker — Gen 1:1-2:4a; Ps 33:6-9; John 1:1-18
- Divine potter, planter, construction engineer — Gen 2:4b-25
- Assistant to God at the creation — Prov 8:22-31
- Divine bedouin tent host — Ps 104:2; Isa 40:22
- Divine dragon-slayer — Job 26:12-14; Ps 74:12-17; 89:8-13; Isa 51:9-10
- Divine judge — Rev 14:6-7
What Can We Know/Believe?
Why did the Bible writers talk about creation? What motivated them to address the issue? Do their reasons match ours? What role did scientific questions play? What role historical questions? What role concerns of well-being and courage? Of strength and structure in life? Of faith in God?
Why is it important for us to talk about creation? How does an understanding of creation from a biblical point of view affect what we think about our roots — as humans? as people with faith in God? as people in need of re-creation?
Is it safe to talk about this subject, given the entrenched positions people have taken over the years? In light of what we now know and believe of the earth and the universe, do we need some new paradigms to explain what we see around us and what we read in the Bible?
What Difference Might it Make?
How should we respond to the Bible’s emphasis on creation? In what ways should this information change or shape us? How might we be affected intellectually, emotively, spiritually? What should characterize our response to and relationship with God because of creation theology?